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History (September 16-25, 2011)

Steve Nilsen

Henningsvær

Vil Muhametshin

Harvest Celebration at the Town Hall Square in Old Riga

Riga, Latvia

September 25, 2011, 16:00

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© 2011 Vil Muhametshin, Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons License

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Caption

The traditional autumn feast—Mikeli—is held every year at the Town Hall Square in Old Riga. The roots of this colourful harvest celebration trace back to ancient times when our ancestors’ life was much more connected with the change of seasons. A permanent participant in all festivities was St. Roland, the defender of Riga, whose statue used to ornate the square since medieval times. Adorned with seasonal decorations—oak leaves garland on the summer solstice, an apple and carrot crown on Mikeli, an umbrella on a rainy day—he has been witnessing centuries of Riga’s history until one day in June 1941, when the Town Hall Square and buildings adjacent to it were destroyed by a bomb shell. The only survivor … was Roland.

The square was rebuilt in modern times, to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Riga. And despite that the original statue of Roland is now being kept in the nearby St. Peter’s Church, a copy of the statue—Roland’s successor—is again on duty, watching how the newest history of the city takes shape.
Virtual Latvia project - http://www.virtuallatvia.lv Virtual tour of Old Riga - http://www.vecriga.info

http://www.ocean.lv

Equipment

Canon 7D, Sigma 8mm

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